Meditations on the Twenty-Third Psalm

Psalm 23
"My cup runneth over" What a happy state to be in! The blessing of the King's guest is now unmeasured. He who was, a little while ago, amidst the deepest shades of the valley, is now in the scene of highest joy, and receiving the most public assurance of the Lord's favor. Nevertheless, we must not forget, that the valley may be as strong an expression of the Lord's favor as the banquet, though the results in experience be so widely different. Now, the cup of joy is flowing over. But this joy is only in the Lord. The whole scene below may be as joyless as ever. These two things are perfectly' consistent in christian experience, and well known to many. Earth's scenes may henceforth be joyless, though full of mercies, while the heart is in the boundless joys of the Lord. Everything around may be tinged with the dark shade of disappointment, bereavement; or with the most crushing, abiding trial; while all above is calm, cloudless, unmingled joy—standing before God in the full credit of Christ, and in the sweet confidence that we are the children whom He loves, the heart overflows with joyous praise.
This is the genuine fruit, Ο my soul, of being at the King's entertainment. But how could it be otherwise? Seated at the King's table—partaking of the repast which His own hand had dressed—the head anointed with the odoriferous oil—the cup filled to overflowing with the King's choicest wine; what else, tell me, could a soul say in such circumstances, than " my cup runneth over?"—my joy—my blessing—my happiness, is full—yea, more than full; I can only love and praise.
From this expressive image thou mayest learn, Ο my soul, what worship is. And rest assured, that nothing is of more importance to the Christian, and nothing more honoring to God, He is robbed of His glory when His children fail to worship Him. The true principle and character of worship are seen here. How full and instructive is this remarkable Psalm! And in how many points it applies to the blessed Lord Himself. Oh! how full was His cup of joy, and of sorrow too, when down here as the dependent Man, confiding in Jehovah's care! But what wonderful experience for a sinner saved by grace to be able to say, when in deep, deep waters," Μy cup of joy is full, my cup of sorrow too." Such was always the portion of the Lord's cup, as the Man of sorrows. But He knew both perfectly. What a blessing to have fellowship with Him! What a privilege, however painful for the present, to taste His cup of sorrow, as well as His cup of joy—to know something of His earthly sorrows, and of His heavenly joys; of the cup of wrath, which He drank for us, we can never taste. " It is finished." It is drained to its dregs. But of His cup of joy we shall drink forever; Hallelujah! " Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord," will be His welcome greeting by and by. Not merely, observe, my soul, into the joy of heaven, or of angels, but into the joy of thy Lord.
" We adore thee evermore; Hallelujah!
Savior, for thy boundless grace; Hallelujah!
For the cross, whereby to us, Hallelujah!
Sure is made eternal bliss; Hallelujah!
From sin's cruel slavery; Hallelujah!
For thine all-atoning blood, Hallelujah!
Which hath brought us nigh to God; Hallelujah!"
What, then, thou mayest still inquire, Ο my soul, is the spiritual meaning of this emblem? We believe it represents a soul in the true spirit and act of worshipping. We know no other four words in Scripture, which so emphatically express